KUONI UK’s booking levels for the first eight months of this year are down 11% as the company struggles with the after-affects of the tsunami.

The UK and North American division saw turnover for the six months to June 30 decline by 9.2% from £170 million in 2004 to £155 million in 2005.

The company put the division’s fall in turnover down to the Asian tsunami in the Maldives, Sri Lanka and Thailand “which are all long-established leading Kuoni UK destinations”.

The group’s gross profit declined by 4% to £155 million, with its profit margin declining from 22.5% to 21.5%. The group also includes Switizerland, Scandinavia, Europe and Asia divisions.

For the first half of this year, the group made a loss of £6.5 million before interest, taxes and amortisation of goodwill (EBITA) compared to a profit for the same period last year of £2.6 million.

However, group turnover increased by 0.3% to £680 million for the first six months of this year.

Kuoni Group chief executive Armin Meier said the company’s performance was “favourable in an environment so marked by unexpected events”.

The company refused to predict its full-year performance. However, it’s confident “the present recovery will continue, especially in those regions that were adversely affected by the tsunami”.